Franch named to USWNT training camp roster for October matches

U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Vlatko Andonovski has named a 21-player training camp roster for the upcoming October matches against Korea Republic which will mark the USWNT return of Kansas native and Kansas City NWSL goalkeeper Adrianna Franch and the final appearances for legend Carli Lloyd in a U.S. uniform.

The USA will take on Korea Republic at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 21, at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kansas (on ESPN2 and TUDN) and then will travel to St. Paul, Minnesota to complete that two-game series at Allianz Field at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 26 (7 p.m. on TUDN).

The USWNT begins its BioSteel Training Camp on Oct. 18 in Andonovski’s home area of Kansas City to prepare for its final domestic matches of the year.

The match in Kansas City, Kansas, also represents a homecoming of sorts for Franch, who hails from Salina, Kansas, and currently plays in the NWSL with Kansas City. A 2019 World Cup champion and 2020 Olympic bronze medalist, Franch is the only player from Kansas to ever make a world championship roster for the USA.

The trip to Minnesota also marks a return to the roots of the U.S. Women’s National Team program. The USWNT played its first nine domestic games in Blaine, Minnesota, over 1986 (2 games), 1987 (4 games) and 1990 (3 games) at what was then the Blaine Soccer Complex and later the National Sports Center.

Before the game in Kansas City, midfielder Lindsey Horan will be honored for reaching 100 caps. Horan, 27, is the 41st USWNT player to earn that distinction. The Colorado native earned her 100th cap during the Olympics on July 24 in a 6-1 victory against New Zealand, a match in which she scored her 23rd international goal.

The roster features 17 players from the bronze medal-winning 2020 Olympic Team, plus four additions in forwards Mallory Pugh and Sophia Smith, midfielder Andi Sullivan and defender Emily Fox. Pugh, Sullivan and Smith were on the roster for the USA’s two wins over Paraguay in September (with Sullivan and Smith scoring their first international goals during that series) while Fox was named to her first roster since matches against Colombia in January at which she earned her fourth cap. Fox also participated in training camp prior to the start of the 2021 SheBelieves Cup.

Forward Megan Rapinoe returns to the roster after missing the September games due to injury, and while goalkeeper Alyssa Naher and midfielders Samantha Mewis and Julie Ertz will join the camp, they are not yet ready to play as they continue to rehab from injuries. Forward Christen Press and defender Crystal Dunn opted out of the matches.

“It’s been a stressful few weeks for the players and staff and the well-being of our players has and always will come first,” said U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Vlatko Andonovski. “We always want to keep improving and evolving as a team, win every game we play, and put on a good show for the fans, but during this camp we will really focus on a few basic things – continuing to support each other while getting to do what we love on the field, and of course, giving Carli Lloyd the send-off she deserves.”

All the players and staff will operate in monitored environments for the duration of the two-game series. Trainings and the matches will fall under the comprehensive U.S. Soccer Return to Play Protocols and Guidelines and in accordance with the Concacaf Return to Play Protocols. Everyone entering the controlled environment will be tested for COVID-19 before traveling, upon arrival and periodically thereafter.

Tickets for both October matches are currently on sale via www.ussoccer.com. In accordance with the local health authorities, and in cooperation with each stadium, as well as the U.S. Soccer medical team, tickets for these matches will be available at near full capacity.

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